New study may jump start NZ’s move to electric cars

A new initiative is underway that could see New Zealand become one of the first countries in the world to have a complete network of charging locations for plug-in electric vehicles country-wide.

Announced today, the ‘Renewables Highway’ study will assess what would be required to put a public charging infrastructure in place.

Graeme Peters, chief executive of the Electricity Networks Association, said the potential of the study to support the uptake of plug-in electronic vehicles in New Zealand was exciting.

“There’s now a lot of recognition that New Zealand is ‘EV-Ready’,” he says. “We have an electricity supply that’s 80 percent renewable due to our abundance of hydro, geothermal and wind generation – accessing fuel that’s clean and home grown and at the equivalent of 30 cents per litre makes sense.”

Mark Gilbert, Drive Electric chairman concurs. “The Renewables Highway will be a major step in helping make electric vehicles a very real option for more Kiwis….Electric vehicles absolutely make sense for this country.”

“The Renewables Highway project will put New Zealand firmly on the leader board, as one of the first countries in the world that has charging infrastructure for electric vehicles covering the country.”

The scoping study will be carried by representatives from lines companies along with Contact Energy, Mighty River Power and Drive Electric.

The Renewables Highway project would initially see a network of charging locations installed at key stopping points and tourism locations along State Highway 1 before expanding into regional routes.

The study is expected to be completed by the end of July.